tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 9, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
bye-bye spies. big exchange between the u.s. and russia since the cold war. end game, bp's latest plan to contain the gusher and why there will be more oil before there is less. plus the ripple effect on hard-working gulf families. making a difference by bringing new hope, eye in the sky. and lebron james feeling the heat after playing the guessing game. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. i'm lester holt in for brian. there was such fan a fair just two weeks ago are back in moscow tonight in a scene straight out of the pages of a novel, the ten who had been living here posing as americans were swamped on an airfield for four russian citizens. two of them arrived in washington just a short time ago. now apparently free men, but nonetheless pawns in an east-west game most of us thought was of a bygone era. we have more on this story. martin, good evening. >> yes, sir, good evening. it was the quickest spy swap experts could remember. quickly ending an embarrassing spy scandal between the united states and russia. the scene straight from the cold war today, two planes nose to
tail in a remote corner of a european airfield. a spy swap. ten russian spies for if four men who worked for american british intelligence. last night the russians deported from america after pleading guilty to acting as unregistered foreign agents. didn't have the drama of berlin's bridge, once known as the bridge of spies seen in so many dramatic swaps. vienna, 11:15 this morning. a bus shuttles between two planes. quickly the ten enter the russian plane. among them, vladimir and glydia, richard and cynthia, their daughters age 7 and 11 are expected to join them in russia. and anna became the face of the spy ring. within 90 minutes they return
east. the four russians return west. there's no clear winner in the swap. >> the american es and russians want the story to go away. they get their assets back. they get the spies they already acquired information from. at the same time the americans want more cooperation from the russians for iran for nuclear proliferation. both sides win. both sides lose. among them soviet ex-colonel believed to have named robert hanson, an american the spies the russia whose secrets led to the deaths of top american agents. also free igor sutyagin. after dropping off two of the men in london, they landed late this afternoon at dallas airport outside washington. it's believed they'll be debriefed and helped to set up new lives. it's too early for details and
officials told nbc news it's all happened quickly. >> martin fletcher in london, thank you. the government's men in charge of the oil disaster in the gulf says bp is inching closer to containing the leak, some 519 miles of coastline now stained. they're working on a new tighter cap to be fitted on the well this weekend to capture significantly more, 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil gushing from the well each day. nbc's anne thompson is following the story from metairie, louisiana. good evening. >> reporter: good evening. bp tries to improve the oil collection system is. while here in the new orleans area, people are trying to learn to live without the very thing that defines their cuisine and their way of life. the containment cap, an imperfect solution for five weeks, is being replaced.
remotely operated vehicles will start removing it tomorrow to make room for a better fitting cap that officials hope will collect as much as 80,000 barrels of oil a day, far more than what officials think is coming out now. >> i think the entire process, once we start bolting until we're in a position to put the new cap on, three to four days. >> reporter: for those three or four days the oil will flow into the gulf untainted, forever tainted the waters. >> this is what's helping me right now. psychologically and pocketbook. >> this is your lifeline. >> right. >> reporter: when the spill ended crabbing in st. bernard parish, he bought 600 new traps and worked lake pontchartrain. >> when you heard there was oil in lake ponchartrain, did you think -- >> my heart fell. what can i say. >> reporter: prices are up, almost $2 a pound of jumble
shrimp and business is down 40%. across the street, deanie's store is a shrimp store, now it's oyster. >> last time i checked it's over 50. it's out of the ballpark for us. >> reporter: 70% of the oysters caught in the u.s. are caught in the gulf water. $2.4 billion seafood industry. fishing bans have had a huge impact on restaurant menus and fish sellers around the nation. despite government testing and a state tracking system that identifies where the seafood is caught, some customers are altering their diet. >> usually i have oysters once a week. that's not going to happen. >> reporter: a fear merlin schaefer is working to calm. >> i would not sell something i'm not going to eat. plain and sim is pl. if i'm not going to eat it, i won't sell it. i'll throw it away. >> reporter: now, as the government and the oil industry battle over a ban on deepwater
drilling, one company today, diamond offshore drilling, announced that it is moving one of those deepwater rigs out of the gulf all the way to egypt because of the uncertainty in the wake of the spill. lester? >> anne thompson, thanks. every since the oil started gushing out of the well, people have been talking how america's insatiable thurt for oil is partly to blame. it's part of a staple of american life. nbc's tom costello reports. >> everything is shut down. >> a broken down van in the roadway. >> reporter: from sun-up to sundown and all through the night the life blood of our 24-hour economy is oil. 250 million cars, tens of millions of cars, hundreds of thousands of planes and ships, nearly a million buses, and 8 million homes in the northeast
alone rely on oil nearly every day. the u.s. now consumes 19 million to 20 million barrels of it every 24 hours. that translated to nearly 10,000 gallons a second. 52% of that comes from foreign sources, much of it from canada and mexico. only a quarter comes from opec companies like saudi arabia and venezuela. roughly 8% of the oil consumed from america comes from the gulf of mexico. 1.6 million barrel as day. >> it's fundamental to our modern lifestyle from the time we get up in the morning till the time we go to bed at night. the things we use around us, they have their base and origin. >> reporter: the bad economy and more fuel-efficient cars are the factors. but to truly cut back on oil consumption will require some
major behavioral changes. >> if every american were to drive 30 miles less per week, that would drop u.s. oil consumption by 20%. >> reporter: americans have demonstrated they're willing to telecommute but giving up their wheels one day a week -- >> now that i think about it, i'd be willing to do it. >> i don't think so. i don't think so. >> my job requires i drive a pretty far distance every day. >> reporter: will the disaster in the gulf force all of us to rethink our own needs and lifestyles. in philadelphia tonight police divers removed a second body believed to be that of a young tourist from hungary, the second victim of a collision between a tourist duck boat and a barge. the duck boat was hoisted out of the water as officials are trying to determine why no distress call was made.
in california a white transit officer who shot and kill and unaround black man in 2009 on a train platform has apologized in a letter saying he'll always live with the memory of what happened. more than 80 protesters were arrested yoifr night after a jury convicted former officer of involuntary manslaughter. prosecutors had wanted a murder conviction. as the pentagon is expected to repeal an appeal, a survey sent to hundreds of thousands of active duty troops is getting attention tonight by some who say it is biased and insulting. nbc's jik miklaszewski is with us. jim, good evening. >> it's got gay rights advocates up in arms claiming that some of the questions are discriminatory if not downright homophobihomop.
there are more than 100 questions of how the don't ask don't tell would affect them as military, but it's ten questions about privacy issues which have ignite add firestorm. questions like if in war time you have to share a room with a guy or lesbian service member, would you want to discuss it, talk to a chap lain, see if i have other options. in a separate question service members are asked about sharing bathrooms or open base showers with a gay or lesbian. take no action or use a shower at a different time. some claim these kinds of questions border on homophobia. >> no one should be surprised if we see biases and prejudice surfacing here. >> robert gates seemed to defend
such questions in an effort to head off any problems once gays and lesbians are permitted to openly serve in the military. >> i think it's very important for us to understand from our men and women in uniform the challenges that they see. >> reporter: gates also encouraged gays and lesbians themselves to take part in the survey and assured that their confidentiality would be protected against any prosecution under the current don't ask don't tell. many believe that it's inevitable, but after this early blow-up, one senior pentagon official predicts tonight it's going do be a messy process. lester. >> there's a lot more to tell you about on this friday night when "nightly news" continues. later, flying high and making a difference on the hard-hit gulf coast.
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news on the economy tonight. we learn this week that the number of people who have fallen behind on paying their mortgages jumped again in may. nearly 12.5% of mortgages in the company are now either late or in foreclose. many of these borrowers have been looking for help from the government's modification program, but as senior correspondent lisa myers tells us, the program has reached only small fraction of those who would like to use it. >> reporter: after robert cooper was laid off last year, he and his wife shelly got some much needed help through the making homes affordable program, a temporary loan modification which cut their monthly mortgage payment in half. >> which i was like wow. that was great. >> reporter: after a year, a blizzard of paperwork and conversations with 70 different people, the coopers recently were denied a permanent modification, told that even though they made all their
payments, they didn't have enough income. >> frustrating is not even the word. i was -- i've done every emotion. i've cried. i've gotten mad. i just can't do anything anymore. >> reporter: the latest statistics are grim. 429,000 families who received trial modifications have dropped out or ben denied. considerably more than the 340,000 familiesho have received permanent help. >> it's a program that has simply not worked. >> reporter: elizabeth warren. she says some borrowers can't afford their homes. banks aren't doing enough to help. >> often mortgage servicers make more money for themselves if a family goes on into foreclosure. >> reporter: the biggest banks have given pertinent modifications to only a small percent of troubled homeowners. they say that's because
borrowers fail to provide proper documentation or even fail to make their lower payments. warren says because the program is voluntary, mortgage servicers have the final say. >> reporter: -- >> there's no real muscle in the program. either you follow the guidelines in the program or there's going to be a penalty to pay for it. >> reporter: the obama administration insists the program is working and is on target of saving 4 million families from foreclosure. officials say other whose have dropped out received over loan modifications which is what happened to the coopers. after telling chase they talked to nbc news, they were notified chase would give them a permanent modification after all. on wall street today stocks finished off an up week on an up note. the dow gained 59 points.
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lebron jachls james revealed his big decision is last night. he's leaving cleveland and is going to play for miami. but it's what happened after he made the big announcement that has people talking today. >> reporter: it was the best of times, jackpot, says the ""miami herald." it was the worst of times. gone. it was the age of revealing. the big decision in front of millions. >> i'm going to take my talents to south beach and join the miami heat. >> reporter: the 25-year-old's all-star decision to leave cleveland had fans in a frenzy
early this morning when he arrived in miami. t-shirt presses are already working overtime to keep one the man. >> miami is going to be unstoppable for at least three years in a row. >> reporter: but it's cut to the heart in his native ohio where he earned the moniker king james while plying for his high school. >> every fan here in cleveland feels like they were slapped in the face. >> reporter: and perhaps most stunning cleveland owner dan gilbert's online rant calling the decision a shameful display of selfishness adding our former hero who grew up in the very region that he deserted is no longer a cleveland cavalier. you the fans don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal. and gilbert vowed i personally guarantee that the cleveland cavaliers will win an nba championship before the self-titled former king wins one. several other cities were in the
running for king james including chicago which already has a statue. perhaps lebron didn't want to have to fill michael jordan's shoes. instead it's miami where he'll hold court. we have to note that lebron wasn't the only one who's had sports fans on the edge of their seats. world cup fans had their eye on paul the psychic octopus. you heard it right he plunks a snag out of a flagged marked box. they went live this morning as paul predicted the outcome of tomorrow's final, spain over the netherlands. spain is thrilled but some disappointed detractors are suggesting that paul be turned into calamari. up next, america's elite blue angels making a difficult
another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment. don't stop taking plavix without talking to your doctor as your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase. people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix.
taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than 2 weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. finally tonight as we know the oil crisis in the gulf has been cruel to the tourism industry there, but it's finally busy this weekend on pensacola beach, and hotels are filling up
too. oil or not, the crowds are turning up for an annual tradition that this year is making real difference for a hard-hit place. here's nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: for a region deeply by oil it seems that just about everything and everyone was looking up. anger and frustration overcome by the joyful noise of a mighty roar. the blue angels put a little beach back into the beach town. the summer tour season isn't lost completely. >> there will make or break it, it always does. i would think it's going to be great. >> reporter: and great is what many of the locals and out of towners say of the air shores, and it's important, especially this year. >> i think it's a good uplifting feeling for all the people in
pensacola. >> today is the first day crowds are back. i'm happy to see that. >> reporter: stained by oil but still brilliantly beautiful says brian rockwell. >> yeah, you can see tar balls on the stand but nothing like you'd expect. >> this is the first time i've seen the blue angels and i think it's really awesome. really loud too. >> reporter: while the size of the crowd may not have been as large as those in the past, they're hoping people come back. for a few hours at least there was something to cheer since that even though the goings have been tough, things will get going back to normal soon. for the angels' commander, a very special mission. >> to get a chance to come back and perform is exceptional. while we're gone this city takes care of our families. this is where our kids go to school. i can't imagine being stationed
at any other place. >> reporter: on this summer afternoon a struggling community touched by some angels. ron mott, nbc news, pensacola beach. >> that's our broadcast for this friday night. thank you, everyone, for being with us. i'm lester holt for brian williams. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com